The Internet of Things (IoT) “explosion” will be a major driver of technology investments over the next decade, and although the billions of connected things will capture much of the attention, investments in the data center will be critical for IoT services to reach their full potential.

That’s according to new research from International Data Corp. (IDC). The report says installed service provider data center capacity consumed by IoT workloads will increase nearly 750% between 2014 and 2019.

"Equal, or even greater, investments in the IoT platform services residing in the data center will be instrumental in delivering the IoT promise of anytime, anywhere, anyhow connectivity and context," Rick Villars, vice president, data center and cloud at IDC, said in a statement.

"Given the number of devices connected and the amount of data generated, businesses must focus on their IoT service platform requirements at the level of the data center itself, not just the individual servers or storage devices," Villars said.

IoT will become the top driver of IT expansion in larger data centers, the report says, speeding the transition to cloud-oriented infrastructure. The agility and scale needed in IoT deployments will ensure that much of that data center capacity ends up residing in service provider data centers.

Other key findings from of the research: IoT will emerge as the leading driver of new compute/storage deployment at the edge; the growing importance of analytics in IoT services will ensure that hyperscale data centers are a major component of most IoT service offerings by 2019; IoT services will place growing stress in most enterprise and service provider networks; and service providers will adopt IoT technologies and services to better monitor and manage their own data center assets.